Tuesday, March 10, 2009

To Look Back or to Look Ahead?

I like movies. I like to buy movies mostly. Then I can watch them. Whenever. I. Want. New releases, old movies, (admittedly) mostly guy movies. Sometimes I buy them even when I haven't seen them yet. Just because the trailer looks cool or it has actors I like or like to look at.

Trish hates when I buy movies.

She says we should watch them first to make sure they're worth buying. Otherwise it's a waste of money.

I won't have any of that. My reason? In the event that I do like them enough to buy, well that would mean I had squandered the rental fee that I could have applied to the purchase price - which is, afterall...a waste of money.

She humors me on this. But begs me to trade them all in about every month because "we'll (meaning she'll) never watch them".

No way.

(And for the record Trish, I don't regret buying any of them. Except Benchwarmers. That movie is lame. We can trade that in if you want.)

But the insanity doesn't stop there.

Trish hates when I buy movies. Any movies.

For her, a bad movie is the same as a good movie that she's already seen. Not worth the time to watch again. Been there, done that.

I think this is a tragic waste but I can't seem to enlighten her.

I've decided that this movie thing is a microcosm of a life philosophy that Trish and I differ on as well:

How do you see the past?

When it comes to looking at our past it seems that there are two camps: Those (like me) who see the past like Linus sees his favorite blanket. It brings comfort, wisdom, and happiness. Then there are those (like Trish) who see the past like a movie stub left in your pocket after the show. Hang onto it and it's just going to turn to a ball of pulp in your pocket (or in Lot's wife's case, a pillar of salt.)

There are virtues and vices to being a "Linus" or a "Ticket Stub".

Linuses see the deeper value of life's moments. They smell the roses. They are quality over quantity. Linuses carefully collect memories over the years like books in a personal library that they can pull out whenever they like, to enjoy and to learn from again and again. And after a life well lived they can look back fondly at their library filled with stories, memories, and lessons learned that have all combined to lead them to where they stand today.

On the flip side, Linuses also have the tendency to live in the past - especially when the present is not pleasant. It's easier to get lost in memories of a better time than to pick up the pen and start writing the next chapter. They also often use memories of their past experiences - both good and bad - to judge where they are today.

Ticket Stubs, on the other hand, are great at not dwelling on the past. They don't live in it or regret it. They also don't waste time with "what ifs". They are better at seeing life as it really is and acting accordingly. And they are pretty productive because they see the present as the time that counts.

On the other hand, they have a hard time enjoying/seeing the value of the moment - especially if the moments are spontaneous or unexpected or unplanned for - since these moments usually interfere with another goal or interest they already had planned for.

So, looking at it objectively, I guess it's healthy, even preferable, to have a Linus and a Ticket Stub in a marriage partnership. I can appreciate Trish's drive and forward movement while I enjoy the journey.

Thanks for all that Trish. I think I get it. And I love you for it.

Just don't expect me to get rid of my movies.